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August 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| September 9, 2021

August 2021 PPM Data – Information for the August 2021 ratings period has been released for New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Nielsen Audio’s August 2021 sweep covered July 22 – August 18.

Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, as well as noting each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are July 2021 – August 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 1.8 – 2.0, +.2, #20 to #18

Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” flat at 1.9, #19 to #20

News: Audacy’s WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 2.5 – 2.7, +.2, #15 to #13 and co-owned WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 2.7 – 2.6, -.1, #12 to #14

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 2.6 – 3.0, +.4, #13 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WNYC-FM 3.6 – 3.4, -.2, unchanged at #10

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW, first month, 6.6 – 7.4, +.8

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WLTW (+.8)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease (Tie): Spanish contemporary WPAT and urban AC WBLS (-.6)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFI “AM 640” 4.0 – 4.1, +.1, sixth to seventh

Salem Media Group-owned KRLA “AM 870 The Answer 2.0 – 2.4, +.4, #19 to #16

News: Audacy’s KNX “1070 News Radio” 2.8 – 2.9, +.1, #11 to #10

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Pasadena Area Community College’s KPCC 2.6 – 2.5, -.1, #13 to #14

Number One 6+ (Tie): iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST first month, 4.8 – 5.3, +.5 and Audacy classic hits-oldies KRTH, seventh consecutive month, 5.9 – 5.3, -.6

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: adult contemporary KOST (+.5)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies KRTH (-.6)

CHICAGO

News/Talk: Nexstar Media Group’s WGN “Radio 720” 3.1 – 3.4, +.3, tenth to ninth

News: Audacy-owned WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” 6.7 – 5.7, -1.0, first to second

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) steady at 2.9, #12 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ 3.4 – 3.9, +.5, eighth to seventh

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ, first month, 5.8 – 6.3, +.5

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): urban AC WVAZ; public radio news/talk WBEZ; regional Mexican WLEY; sports talk WMVP; and contemporary Christian WCKL (+.5)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: news WBBM-AM & WCFS (-1.0)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KGO “810 AM” 1.6 – 1.8, +.2, #22 to #20

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 6.0 – 5.7, -.3, second to third

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) 5.1 – 6.0, +.9, third to second

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 7.9 – 7.6, -.3, #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, eighth straight month, 7.9 – 7.6, -.3

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: sports talk KNBR (+.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: 1980’s hits KOSF (-.6)

DALLAS

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned WBAP “News Talk 820 AM & 99.5 HD2 FM” 3.7 – 4.0, +.3, ninth to sixth

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KTCK “Sports Radio The Ticket” 2.4 – 3.6, +1.2, #19 to #11

Public Radio News/Talk: North Texas Public Broadcasting-owned KERA 2.6 – 3.1, +.5, #17 to #14

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia CHR KHKS, first month, 4.3 – 5.2 +.9

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: sports talk KTCK (+1.2)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: adult hits KJKK (-.7)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 News Radio” 4.5 – 4.7, +.2, eighth to seventh

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Houston-owned KUHF 2.6 – 2.8, +.2, remains at #18

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA, fourth consecutive month, 7.3 – 6.3, -1.0

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): contemporary Christian KSBJ and urban contemporary KQBT (+.4)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: adult contemporary KODA (-1.0)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB “Atlanta’s News & Talk” 8.3 – 9.0, +.7, #1

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WZGC “92.9 The Game” 2.9 – 2.5, -.4, #12 to #16

Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “The Fan” (Braves) 1.5 – 1.8, +.3, #20 to #17

Public Radio News/Talk: Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE 2.5 – 2.8, +.3, #15 to #12

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM, 27th consecutive month, 8.3 – 9.0, +.7

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase (Tie): news/talk WSB-AM; urban contemporary WRDG; and Spanish contemporary WBZY (+.7)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: urban contemporary WVEE (-.7)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” flat at 1.8 and unchanged at #17

Audacy-owned WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” steady at 1.3, #22 to #20

News: Audacy’s KYW & WPHI “News Radio 1060 AM & 103.9 FM” 5.5 – 5.0, -.5, anchored at #6

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” (Phillies) 5.8 – 5.6, -.2, third to fourth

Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” 1.4 – 1.7, +.3, #19 to #18

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY’s WHYY 4.1 – 4.7, +.6, ninth to seventh

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM, eighth straight month, 8.6 – 8.3, -.3

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: classic rock WMGK (+1.0)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease (Tie): news KYW and Spanish tropical WEMG (-.5)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 3.0 – 2.4, -.6, #13 to #16

News: Audacy’s WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 3.3 – 3.0, -.3, #10 to #12 and cluster-mate WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 3.5 – 3.0, -.5, #8 to #12

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 4.8 – 4.9, +.1, remains at #3

Public Radio News/Talk:  None in the top twenty

Number One 6+ (Tie): Audacy classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM, first month, 4.7 – 5.1, +.4 and Connoisseur adult contemporary WKJY, first month, 5.0 – 5.1, +.1

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies WBZO (+.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic rock WAXQ (-1.0)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFI “AM 640” 3.6 – 3.0, -.6, sixth to tenth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA, fifth straight month, 7.7 – 9.5, +1.8

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: classic hits-oldies KOLA (+1.8)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: urban-rhythmic oldies KDAY (-1.8)

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KGO “810 AM” 1.4 – 1.8, +.4, #21 to #16

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 3.9 – 3.8, -.1, carries on in seventh-place

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) 3.7 – 5.1, +1.4, eighth to third

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 9.0 – 8.7, -.3, #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, eighth month in a row, 9.0 – 8.7, -.3

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: sports talk KNBR (+1.4)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: regional Mexican KXZM (-1.1)

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: Townsquare Media-owned WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 3.8 – 3.9, +.1, eighth to ninth

News: Audacy’s WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 1.8 – 2.0, +.2, unchanged at #20

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #13 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 3.2 – 3.0, -.2, #11 to #13

Number One 6+: Emmis urban AC WBLS, first month, flat at 6.8

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Increase: adult contemporary WLTW (+.9)

Largest 6+ July 2021 – August 2021 Decrease: classic rock WAXQ (-1.8)

Up next: August 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

July 2021 PPM Ratings Takeaways – Part One

| August 10, 2021

 

July 2021 PPM Data – Information for the July 2021 ratings period has been released for New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Dallas; Houston; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; San Jose; and Middlesex-Somerset-Union.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2021 sweep covered June 24 – July 21.

Mike Kinosian provides “Takeaways” for spoken-word stations finishing in their respective markets’ top twenty, as well as noting each particular city’s #1 station (6+) and loftiest (6+) upticks and drop-offs.

All comparisons noted are June 2021 – July 2021 (6+).

NEW YORK

News/Talk: Red Apple Media’s WABC-AM & WLIR-FM “77 Talk Radio” 1.8 – 1.9, +.1, #20 to #19

iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 1.9 – 1.8, -.1, #19 to #20

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 2.6 – 2.7, +.1, #13 to #12 and co-owned WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) flat at 2.5, remains at #15

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 2.9 – 2.6, -.3, #11 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation-owned WNYC-FM 3.7 – 3.6, -.1, ninth to tenth

Number One 6+: Emmis urban AC WBLS first month, 6.5 – 6.9, +.4; iHM adult contemporary WLTW had been #1 the past eight months

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: Spanish contemporary WPAT (+1.1)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (-.8)

LOS ANGELES

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KFI “AM 640” 4.4 – 4.0, -.4, third to sixth

Salem Media Group-owned KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” 1.4 – 2.0, +.6, #28 to #19

News: Audacy’s KNX “1070 News Radio” steady at 2.8, continues at #11

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: Pasadena Area Community College’s KPCC unchanged at 2.6, #14 to #13

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies KRTH, sixth consecutive month, 5.5 – 5.9, +.4

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase (Tie): news/talk KRLA and Spanish contemporary KLVE (+.6)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: alternative KYSR (-.7)

CHICAGO

News/Talk: Nexstar Media Group’s WGN “Radio 720” 3.3 – 3.1, -.2, flat at #10

News: Audacy-owned WBBM-AM & WCFS “News Radio 780 AM & 105.9 FM” 6.0 – 6.7, +.7, second to first

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WSCR “670 The Score” (Cubs) 2.6 – 2.9, +.3, #17 to #12

Public Radio News/Talk: Chicago Public Media-owned WBEZ steady at 3.4, stays in eighth-place

Number One 6+: Audacy news WBBM-AM & WCFS, first month, 6.0 – 6.7, +.7

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: news WBBM-AM & WCFS (+.7)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease (Tie): adult contemporary WSHE and urban AC WVAZ (-.7)

SAN FRANCISCO

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 5.9 – 6.0, +.1, third to second

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) 6.3 – 5.1, -1.2, second to third

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 8.7 – 7.9, -.8, #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, seventh straight month, 8.7 – 7.9, -.8

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: 1980’s hits KOSF (+.9)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: urban AC KBLX (-2.1)

DALLAS

News/Talk: Cumulus Media-owned WBAP “News Talk 820 AM & 99.5 HD2 FM” 3.6 – 3.7, +.1, stays at #9

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media’s KTCK “Sports Radio The Ticket” 2.6 – 2.4, -.2, #17 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: North Texas Public Broadcasting-owned KERA 2.9 – 2.6, -.3, #15 to #17

Number One 6+: Audacy classic hits-oldies KLUV, third month in a row, 5.2 – 5.1 -.1

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian KCBI (+.5)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease (Tie): sports talk KRLD-FM; Spanish adult hits KBOC; CHR KLIF-FM (-.4)

HOUSTON

News/Talk: iHeartMedia’s KTRH “AM 740 News Radio” steady at 4.5, seventh to eighth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: University of Houston-owned KUHF 2.8 – 2.6, -.2, #17 to #18

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA, third consecutive month, 7.5 – 7.3, -.2

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: regional Mexican KQQK (+.6)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease (Tie): classic rock KGLK; Spanish contemporary KLOL (-.9)

ATLANTA

News/Talk: Cox Media Group-owned WSB-AM & WSBB “Atlanta’s News & Talk” 8.1 – 8.3, +.2, #1

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WZGC “92.9 The Game” 3.8 – 2.9, -.9, #10 to #12

Dickey Broadcasting-owned WCNN “The Fan” (Braves) 1.8 – 1.5, -.3, #17 to #20

Public Radio News/Talk: Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE 2.3 – 2.5, +.2, #14 to #15

Number One 6+: Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM, 26th consecutive month, 8.1 – 8.3, +.2

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: contemporary Christian WFSH (+.8)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: sports talk WZGC (-.9)

PHILADELPHIA

News/Talk: Townsquare Media’s WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 1.7 – 1.8, +.1, #18 to #17

News: Audacy’s KYW & WPHI “News Radio 1060 AM & 103.9 FM” 5.1 – 5.5, +.4, locked in sixth-place

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” (Phillies) 5.2 – 5.8, +.6, fifth to third

Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” 2.8 – 1.4, -1.4, #15 to #19

Public Radio News/Talk: WHYY’s WHYY 4.2 – 4.1, -.1, remains at #9

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia urban AC WDAS-FM, seventh straight month, 7.8 – 8.6, +.8

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase (Tie): urban AC WDAS-FM; adult contemporary WBEB; adult hits WBEN-FM  (+.8)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: CHR WIOQ (-1.8)

LONG ISLAND

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned WOR “710 – The Voice of New York” 2.6 – 3.0, +.4, #15 to #13

News: Audacy’s WINS “1010 – All News/All The Time” 3.2 – 3.5, +.3, #12 to #8 and cluster-mate WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 2.7 – 3.3, +.6, #13 to #10

Sports Talk: Audacy’s WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) flat at 4.8, fifth to third

Public Radio News/Talk:  WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 1.6 – 1.8, +.2, #21 to #19

Number One 6+ (tie): iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ, second successive month, 5.9 – 5.4, -.5

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: adult standards WHLI’s internet stream (+1.1)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: classic rock WBAB (-1.4)

RIVERSIDE

News/Talk: iHeartMedia-owned KFI “AM 640” 3.7 – 3.6, -.1, seventh to sixth

News: None in the top twenty

Sports Talk: None in the top twenty

Public Radio News/Talk: None in the top twenty

Number One 6+: Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA, fourth straight month, 7.3 – 7.7, +.4

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: CHR KIIS-FM (+.6)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: regional Mexican KRQB (-1.1)

SAN JOSE

News/Talk: None in the top twenty

News: Audacy’s KCBS-AM & KFRC “All News 740 AM & 106.9 FM” 4.0 – 3.9, -.1, repeats at #7

Sports Talk: Cumulus Media-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” (Giants) 4.0 – 3.7, -.3, seventh to eighth

Public Radio News/Talk: KQED, Inc.’s KQED 9.2 – 9.0, -.2, #1

Number One 6+: public radio news/talk KQED, seventh month in a row, 9.2 – 9.0, -.2

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: regional Mexican KXZM (+.9)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: country KRTY (-.9)

MIDDLESEX

News/Talk: Townsquare Media-owned WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” 4.2 – 3.8, -.4, flat at #8

News: Audacy’s WCBS-AM “News Radio 880” (Mets) 1.7 – 1.8, +.1, continues at #20

Sports Talk: Audacy-owned WFAN-FM & WFAN-AM “Sports Radio 101.9 FM & 66 AM” (Yankees) 2.5 – 2.9, +.4, #17 to #13

Public Radio News/Talk: WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM 4.0 – 3.2, -.8, #9 to #11

Number One 6+: iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ, seventh consecutive month, 7.8 – 7.0, -.8

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Increase: Spanish tropical WSKQ (+1.2)

Largest 6+ June 2021 – July 2021 Decrease: contemporary Christian WAWZ (-1.4)

Up next: July 2021 overviews for: Washington, DC; Boston; Miami; Seattle; Detroit; Phoenix; Minneapolis; San Diego; Tampa; Denver; Baltimore; and St. Louis. Email Mike Kinosian at Mike.Kinosian@gmail.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

| July 27, 2021

WOR, New York Personality Mark Simone is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Longtime Big Apple radio star Mark Simone, who hosts the daily 10:00 am – 12:00 noon show on WOR, New York, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Simone, described by Harrison as the “ultimate embodiment of the expression ‘man-about-town’” for his numerous speaking engagements as a toastmaster and emcee has been a radio mainstay for decades in the nation’s number one market having performed on the rosters of such legendary outlets as WABC, WNEW, WMCA and WPIX, prior to joining WOR. For two years, he was the co-host of a three-hour daily comedy show with the legendary Steve Allen on the NBC Radio Network. He co-hosted a two-hour nightly talk show with Tom Snyder on the CBS Radio Network. In addition to discussing local and national politics, Simone is a music and entertainment historian who has hosted over 250 PBS entertainment specials and he has lectured at Hofstra University on the career and cultural legacy of Frank Sinatra. A regular guest on national cable TV, Simone and newspaper columnist Linda Stasi have co-hosted their “What a Week” segments for over 18 years on New York 1 TV, the highly-watched, all-news channel in NYC. Harrison and Simone discuss radio, politics, music, and technology in a fast-paced conversation that will engage both professional practitioners and dedicated fans of today’s cross-platform media environment. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Nexstar Names Gliha VP/CFO. In two weeks (8/9), Jefferies LLC managing director Lee Ann Gliha will become Nexstar Media Group’s executive vice president/chief financial officer. She will take over CFO responsibilities from Thomas E. Carter, who was promoted to president/chief operating officer late last year and was Nexstar’s executive vice president/chief financial officer since 2009. According to Carter, “[Lee Ann is] an accomplished finance leader who understands the rapidly evolving media ecosystem and brings extensive industry relationships to her new role at Nexstar. This background will be invaluable to [our] senior management team, board of directors, and our experienced finance team. [She] will be instrumental in advancing our strategic objectives with the goal of further enhancing shareholder value.” Gliha comments, “Throughout its 25-year history, Nexstar has been at the forefront of every major innovation in local broadcasting, while maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Nexstar’s corporate and local management teams have built the preeminent local broadcasting and digital media company in the country and consistently delivered impressive financial results for shareholders. I am thrilled to be joining Nexstar – I look forward to growing and evolving the business and driving new value for shareholders.” Prior to working at Jefferies LLC, Gliha was Live Nation’s executive vice president/corporate finance.

Westwood One Sets Affiliate Sales Moves. Boosted to vice president of affiliate sales for 24/7 formats at CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One is Neal Weiner, while Sue Falco becomes director of affiliate sales for the music & entertainment division. Senior vice president of affiliate sales Stuart Greenblatt comments, “With more than a quarter-century with Westwood One, Neal knows this business inside and out; Sue’s new role brings her full circle back to Westwood One. There are no better people to assume these roles and drive Westwood One’s affiliate sales.” Weiner remarks, “We have fantastic new offerings in the pipeline for helping our affiliates to operate smoothly and efficiently and to sound amazing. I’m honored to assume this role at such an exciting time.” Falco notes, “Westwood One is synonymous with great programming and super-sized talent. I’m thrilled to be back on the team with such a well-respected brand.” Weiner’s 26-year tenure at Westwood One has included working with 24/7 formats; music and entertainment shows; sports; and prep services. He began his radio career at then Westwood-owned KQLZ “Pirate Radio,” Los Angeles. Falco most recently spent ten years as United Stations’ director of affiliate sales. Prior to that, she had a six-year run at Westwood One as part of both the news/talk and country affiliate sales teams.

Audacy Introduces Podsauce. The one-hour Dax Holt and Alesha Reneé-hosted multi-platform podcast discovery show assists podcast partisans find new series; it will begin this Thursday (7/29). Audacy Digital executive vice president/general manager Pam Russo contends, “With over two million active podcasts and nearly 50 million episodes worldwide, finding a podcast to listen to can be overwhelming. That’s where ‘Podsauce’ comes in. Through Alesha and Dax’s passion for this exploding medium, coupled with in-depth conversations with the people behind the content, ‘Podsauce’ will give consumers a taste of [the] top shows – both in our portfolio and beyond – and spotlight the very best in the world of podcasting.” Holt spent 11 years at TMZ where he won two Emmy nominations. He hosts the “Hollywood Raw” podcast. Actress/TV personality Reneé has appeared on “Girl Code,” “Guy Code,” “E! News,” “HotWyred,” “The 5ive,” and “106 and Park.” In addition, she has been the host/spokesperson for McDonald’s “Men of McCafe.” Select sound bites titled the “Podsauce Minute” will be heard on Audacy’s 235 broadcast stations.

SiriusXM Reports Q2 Revenue Of $2.16 Billion. That’s an increase of 15% compared to this time last year. SiriusXM’s 2021 Q2 net income of $433 million is up $190 million versus 2020’s $243 million. The substantial increase included $140 million in insurance recoveries related to its SXM-7 satellite. Chief executive officer Jennifer Witz comments, “We are increasing all of our financial guidance. The quarter was bolstered by record self-pay churn of just 1.5%, and we achieved strong monetization in our advertising business with an increase in ad revenue of 82% from the prior year period and 20% from the second quarter of 2019. We have long been the leader in shaping the future of audio for listeners, and we continue doing so by providing curated and premium content in innovative formats.” Earlier this month, the satcaster announced that a daily Megyn Kelly-hosted show (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) will begin on September 7. Witz notes, “In addition, video of the best moments from the show will be available in our app to subscribers and a podcast version of the show will be distributed broadly on SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher, and other major platforms. Seth Rogen will do his first-ever podcast with us starting in the fall.”

Salem Radio Network Extends Gorka. The multi-year agreement enables Sebastian Gorka to continue his 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (ET) Salem Radio Network “America First” program that began in January 2019. Salem senior vice president for spoken-word Phil Boyce states, “Dr. Gorka has proven to be a natural on the radio. His insight into current events, his courageous stands on the issues, and his unique sense of humor have blended together to make this one of the best shows in the Salem lineup.” Gorka adds that, “Despite an incredibly hard 18 months for America, conservative talk radio is stronger than it has ever been. I am so grateful to Salem, my superb team and our amazing listeners for their loyalty and enduring love of country. I am overjoyed at the chance to continue our shared mission to tell the truth and make America even stronger than before.” Gorka grew up in London and learned talk radio listening to radio stations there. A three-time author, he hosts a weekend Newsmax TV show.

RTDNA Announces “The Year Of The Team.” Maintaining this year’s news leadership conference will feature “fresh and focused hands-on training and more intimate/inspirational discussions,” the Radio Television Digital News Association’s “The Year of the Team” retreat will be held in Denver on September 23 – 24. RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley states, “When approaching our annual conference this year, we listened to what our members said they wanted in a post-pandemic world in terms of professional development. We have developed a curriculum that helps them restore, rejuvenate, refresh and find ways to be more productive, more satisfied, and more well-rounded as they practice the craft of journalism. It’s going to be a holistic reset and refresh of everything we do as journalists and everything we are as human beings.” News leaders will reportedly celebrate the “Year of the Team” with representation and resilience. Attendees will be able to participate in interactive and immersive sessions taught by subject matter experts on a variety of topics relevant to representation and resilience – including self-care and inclusive language.

COVID-19, Delta Variant, and Vaccine Denial/Hesitancy Top News/Talk Story for Monday July 26. The rising rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the Delta variant being the dominant strain, and vaccine hesitancy in many parts of the U.S. combined as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio yesterday (7/26). That was followed closely by the highly contentious January 6 Committee debate between the parties. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is updated and published every Friday at Talkers.com.See this week’s complete chart here.

TALKERS News Notes. Cleveland-based Danno Wolkoff and his wife Laura Wolkoff have exited Sun Broadcast Group as chief operating officer and vice president/operations, respectively … As first reported by Robert Feder (RobertFeder.com), former standup comedian Patti Vasquez’s “Driving It Home With Patti Vasquez” (5:00 pm – 6:00 pm) will be added to Newsweb Chicago news/talk WCPT’s weekday roster next Monday (8/2). Vasquez formerly did evenings at cross-town Nexstar news/talk WGN … Former eight-year traffic pilot/reporter at (now Audacy-owned) St. Louis news/talk KMOX John Larrabee, 73, passed away earlier this month (7/10) at his Moscow Mills (Missouri) home. His other radio credits include stops in New York City (WXLO) and Hartford (WDRC-AM and WPOP), as well as programming St. Louis’ KSLQ and KADI.

Newsmax To Unveil “Eric Bolling The Balance.” Touting it as a (4:00 pm – 5:00 pm) weekday show “for everyday Americans, covering the issues that truly matter,” Newsmax will introduce “Eric Bolling The Balance’’ tomorrow (7/28). According to Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy, “Viewers know and trust Eric Bolling as one of the most tenacious guys in news. Insiders know he’s a true veteran who is driven to follow the facts and deliver the news.” Before joining Newsmax last month, Bolling hosted a weekly talk show on Sinclair Broadcasting and hosted “The Five,” “Cashin’ In,” and “Fast Money.” He is a former commodities trader and board member of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Monday, July 26, 2021

| July 26, 2021

Monday Memo: Is Your On-Air Product Old-School? Podcasting delivers on consumers’ expectation for on-demand EVERYTHING and consultant Holland Cooke calls it “an opportunity to let retailers sponsor pertinent special interest topics.” But, in this week’s column, he cautions that “these are still digital dimes, compared to the analog dollars solid live programming and painstakingly-crafted commercials will earn us.” To read what makes your station special, please click here.

Pending Business: Going Up.  In this week’s “Pending Business” column, radio sales pro Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, discusses the state of your “elevator pitch.” Will it work in less than the 60 seconds it takes to go to the eighth floor? Try this: Create one sentence that describes what your station does better than any of your competitors. Ask yourself is there a payoff for the advertiser in that one sentence or is it all product information?  Are you connecting a #1 with an advertiser benefit?  Have you taken the time to update your elevator pitch to put a more contemporary feel to the language? Lapa discusses these important points and more in an article that touches on the very basics of cutting right to the chase in presenting your station in a clear and positive light to a potential advertiser when time is of the essence.  To read more, please click here.

Davis Sets Departure From iHeartMedia. Nashville-based iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group chief operating officer Darren Davis will exit at the end of this year, but will continue with the company as an advisor. In a memo to the staff, iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer Bob Pittman and iHM president/chief operating officer/chief financial officer Rich Bressler write, “Darren has a deep love for iHeart and a true passion for our business and our success. [He] has grown up through our organization continually taking on new roles and more responsibility, becoming a critically important contributor as part of our senior team. After almost 30 years with iHeart, Darren is looking forward to spending more time on a variety of other projects he’s passionate about, including real estate development; local community projects; and traveling with his family. Although his day-to-day operating expertise will be missed, we appreciate all he’s done for our company and are very pleased that he will continue his association with us, albeit on a more limited basis. Darren will be working closely with Digital Audio Group CEO Conal Byrne through the balance of 2021 to continue our momentum and to effectively organize the Digital Audio Group for the future.” Davis has been with iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) since 1992 when he joined adult contemporary WASH, Washington, DC as a programming intern.

iHM, Sports Illustrated, and SI Studios Partner For Multi-Year, Audio Content Deal. The agreement includes eight co-produced Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Studios, and iHeartRadio podcasts, as well as distribution of Sports Illustrated’s existing podcasts through the iHeartPodcast Network. Mutual marketing and promotion commitments will apply to all joint projects; two of the eight original podcasts are scheduled to launch by the first quarter of next year. iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group chief executive officer Conal Byrne comments, “We are thrilled to partner with Sports Illustrated to introduce a brand-new slate of sports podcasts – limited series and ongoing shows alike. It’s an iconic brand that sports fans instantly trust, knowing that they will get the most credible and in-depth industry coverage. We look forward to expanding that footprint into the audio space where we uniquely have the reach and scale to bring Sports Illustrated the audience and monetization they deserve.” According to Sports Illustrated & Maven chief executive officer Ross Levinsohn, “Storytelling is at the core of what SI stands for. The opportunity to partner with iHeartMedia to create and distribute dynamic stories and shows featuring our incredible voices further expands our footprint.” Chief operating officer of 101 Studios, David Hutkin, adds, “While traditionally sports are very visually focused, this venture allows us to introduce audiences to the most memorable events in sports history in unexpected ways. With this new partnership, we have the unique opportunity to tell these historic, remarkable stories to audiences globally.” Set to debut later this year, “Sports Illustrated Weekly” will feature the best of Sports Illustrated’s journalism in an audio magazine. Each 45-minute episode will feature deep-dive segments on the biggest news of the week and the most compelling personalities, trends and themes in sports. Developed by SI Studios, “Lateral Damage” will offer an innovative take on the true-crime genre. Publishing early next year, the podcast tells the story of University of California, Berkeley football player Mariet Ford, who was convicted of viciously murdering his young son and pregnant wife; Ford has maintained his innocence for almost 25 years. The podcast will explore the indelible effect the murder has had on the core group of people in Ford’s sphere.

Local Journalism Sustainability Act Has NAB Support. Introduced by Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell (Washington State); Mark Kelly (Arizona); and Ron Wyden (Oregon), the Local Journalism Sustainability Act of 2021 would aid local news organizations through tax credits to incentivize hiring more journalists, subscriptions and advertising from local small businesses. In a prepared statement, National Association of Broadcasters president/chief executive officer Gordon Smith notes, “At a time when misinformation and disinformation plague online platforms, broadcast radio and television continue to serve as reliable beacons of news that keep local communities informed and connected. We urge congressional passage of this legislation.” According to Senator Cantwell, “The COVID-19 pandemic made it crystal clear that local reporters and newsrooms are essential to keeping the public informed and safe, but their importance spans well beyond health emergencies. At its core, local news is about holding the powerful accountable. The strength of our democracy is based in truth and transparency. Local newsrooms are on the ground in our communities asking the critical questions, countering misinformation, and telling our stories. We have to protect these vital parts of our communities – once they’re gone, they’re gone.” Senator Kelly comments, “Local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations are pillars of our community, bringing trusted local news [and] information about community events and the latest on public health updates in their area. The pandemic made an already difficult financial situation for these news providers even harder, which is why I support the Local Journalism Sustainability Act. By providing tax credits for individuals to support local news outlets, they can continue to provide important coverage for readers, listeners, and viewers.” Senator Wyden adds, “The decline of local news has had devastating effects on our communities. Local news has often been the only window into the city council or mayor’s office. Without these outlets, these important institutions in our communities go uncovered. Further, the decline of local news has only fueled the growth of misinformation as Americans lose their most trusted sources of information. As the son of a journalist, these developments trouble me greatly. Our bill would provide financial support to local news at this critical time for our democracy.”

WMVP To Repeat A $50,000 Ad Giveaway. It’s part of an ongoing “Supporting Small Business” campaign by Good Karma Brands Chicago sports talk outlet WMVP “ESPN 1000” and First Midwest Bank. Good Karma Brands Chicago market manager Mike Thomas comments, “We’re excited to continue our partnership with First Midwest Bank to help a local small business see success. Supporting local businesses in our community is central to both ‘ESPN 1000’ and First Midwest Bank. This is a great way for us to introduce the passionate sports fans in our area to a small business.” First Midwest Bank chief marketing and communications officer Jim Stadler adds, “This past year has reminded us of the importance of small businesses and the role they play in creating employment opportunities and momentum for economic growth in their local neighborhoods. We are proud to partner with ‘ESPN Chicago’ for the second year to bring valuable and well-deserved public exposure to these important businesses.” Last year’s “Supporting Small Business” award benefitted Breaking Bread Catering & Deli.

TALKERS News Notes. Former 13-year Tampa Bay Lightning director of broadcasting & programming Matt Sammon is appointed manager/business development & strategy for Skyview Networks. Sammon joined Skyview last September as an executive producer overseeing Notre Dame sports broadcasts and spent two years freelancing with Sammonsez, LLC … After reporting part-time for NPR the past several months, David Gura will join the network next Monday (8/2) as business correspondent. Most recently the host of MSNBC’s weekend morning show “Up With David Gura,” he previously was a Bloomberg anchor. Gura began his career as an intern at University of North Carolina news/talk WUNC, Raleigh … The next installment of the “Gracie Interview Series – Virtual Gatherings” will be this Thursday (7/29) at 2:00 pm (ET). “The Breakfast Club” co-host/“Angela Yee’s Lip Service” host Angela Yee moderates the interview of Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott. Registration is free at https://allwomeninmedia.org/events/gracie-interview-series-virtual-gatherings/  … iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO “News Radio 1040” afternoon drive talent Simon Conway took his show on the road to Groton, Connecticut for several broadcasts aboard the USS Nautilus. Conway received a tour of the USS Iowa (pictured), guided by captain James Quintin. According to Conway, “The two shows we did from our submarine base at Groton were very exciting. All my questions were answered and the feedback from my audience has been incredible.” In addition to WHO, Conway’s afternoon drive show is heard on iHeartMedia stations in Cedar Rapids (WMT) and Davenport (WOC) … Nexstar Media Group promotes Ron Romines to senior vice president and regional manager. Romines will oversee the company’s broadcast and digital operations in various markets and will report to Nexstar Media Group president of broadcasting Andrew Alford.

Top Talk Topics This Past Weekend Headed By COVID-19.  As has been the case in recent years, the news cycle no longer slows down on the weekends. The most-discussed topic on news/talk radio this past weekend has been COVID-19 with a focus on the Delta variant, vaccine hesitancy, controversy over mask mandates and the potential for more shutdowns.  This was followed by intense partisan bickering over the formulation of the January 6 committee, followed by climate change, 2020 election denial, and the Olympics.

Acción Adds Tampa and Jacksonville. Effective immediately, Star Over Orlando’s WRSO “Acción 97.9 – La Primera En Noticias” will be simulcast in Tampa on iHeartMedia-owned WHNZ which had been English-language news/talk; a West Tampa translator at 105.9 that was simulcasting English-language news/talk WFLA; and WMTX-HD2. In addition, it will be heard in Jacksonville on iHM’s WFXJ and WKSL-HD2. iHeartMedia senior VP/Hispanic Strategy Hector Marcano comments, “Acción represents a solution for the Hispanic audience eager for a Spanish-speaking newscast and companies that are looking for this fast-growing audience interested in developing a life in the USA.” Division president Linda Byrd notes, “I’m excited to expand the Acción brand to other important Hispanic markets in Florida. Getting the news and information to Florida’s growing Hispanic population in their native language will be very impactful.” Area president for iHeartMedia West Central Florida Chris Soechtig remarks, “We are very excited to deliver a first of its kind Spanish language news platform to the Tampa Bay Hispanic community. With the changing demographics in our area, this is a natural addition to our diverse portfolio.” iHeartMedia North Florida area president Paul Rogers contends, “No other media company can truly help our advertisers, brands, and community organizations reach the full spectrum of the First Coast’s diverse populations like iHeart. We are thrilled to [bring] the first full-service Hispanic news/talk station to Northeast Florida.” Acción – La Primera En Noticias launched in 2018 and news director Jesús Manuel Torres states, “For the past few years, we’ve worked as a team to keep our Hispanic community informed of the events that have changed history. This time, our commitment continues to grow, and our team is ready to continue bringing relevant information and analysis to each market.” Among persons 6+, WRSO is trending 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.8 (April – May – June) and ranks #16 (Nielsen Audio, June 2021). Star Over Orlando-owned WRSO is operated by iHeartMedia under an LMA.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

| July 21, 2021

Pete Kaliner Returns to WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte for Early Afternoon Show. North Carolina talk radio personality Pete Kaliner is joining Radio One’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte as host of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show, effective July 26. Kaliner, who has been hosting afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WWNC, Asheville, returns to the station where he spent a dozen years as news reporter and talk show host. Radio One Charlotte regional VP and market manager Marsha Landress says, “For three decades, ‘Noon to 3’ has been synonymous with an icon that is irreplaceable. We know that no one will ever replace Rush, and we’re not attempting to replace him. Bringing Pete Kaliner back to WBT represents our commitment to serving this community by utilizing his decades of experience in covering national issues and how they affect us here. We are excited by the future that having Pete on this team brings.” Kaliner says, “Returning to WBT is somewhat surreal, as it has been such a huge part of my life. Being a part of WBT for all those years meant being a part of Charlotte’s unique and inspiring story. WBT and Charlotte are inextricably connected by a century of history. I am sincerely humbled and honored to be entrusted to help contribute to the next chapters.” The station adds, “And, just as WBT has supported the community of Charlotte for over 99 years, Pete will join in this commitment to service by raising awareness to anti-poverty and animal welfare organizations as WBT approaches its Centennial celebration in 2022.”

Larry Elder Sues California Secretary of State for Keeping Him Off Recall Ballot. In a suit filed in California Superior Court, Salem Radio Network talk show host Larry Elder complains that California Secretary of State Shirley Weber has improperly applied the state’s election code that requires candidates for governor submit five years of tax returns. Elder is among a number of people who filed as a candidate in the September 14 recall election of California Governor Gavin Newsom. Elder’s suit says that he fully complied with the code that requires filing of the tax returns and was informed by the Secretary of State that everything appeared to be in order and therefore the state’s Elections Code says it’s incumbent on the Secretary of State to correct any redacting errors that might have occurred. Further, Elder says the law requiring the filing of tax returns specifically applies only to “direct primary elections” so it’s debatable whether it applies to recall elections at all. Additionally, the way the law is being applied does not require Gavin Newsom to file his returns and this, Elder argues, violates his equal protection rights under California’s Constitution. Read the court filing here.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on 11th Episode of Limbaugh Tribute Podcast Series – Premiere Networks and EIB Network Presenting ‘Rush Limbaugh: The Man Behind the Golden EIB Microphone’ Podcast Series. This 12-episode podcast series is narrated by Rush Limbaugh’s longtime call-screener and “official show observer” James Golden, a.k.a., Bo SnerdleyPremiere Networks says, “The 12-episode series details legendary radio host Rush Limbaugh’s award-winning, 30-plus year career in radio that revitalized the spoken-word format and provided a platform for him to develop and lead modern conservatism in America. Featuring Limbaugh’s own words and never-before-heard stories shared by colleagues, friends and family, the series gives listeners a guided tour of the five-time Marconi Award winner’s historic journey from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to becoming the number one talk radio host in America. The series will also highlight Limbaugh’s lasting legacy.” Golden says, “The only blessing greater than working with Rush was knowing the man that he truly was. It is not only my honor, but also my duty, to help ensure his legacy is properly acknowledged. I want to thank Premiere Networks and the EIB Network for allowing me this profound opportunity.” Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott adds, “It is gratifying to share this incredible series with millions of Rush Limbaugh fans. Those who knew Rush best are providing an insider’s look at his life and career, presenting a true celebration and tribute to the greatest talk radio host of all time.” Michael Harrison states, “I am honored to be part of this magnificent project. Congratulations to the entire team at Premiere including the production wizards Phil Tower and Chris Kelly for their superb craftsmanship.” You can listen to the first 11 installments of this historic 12 part series including the latest featuring Michael Harrison and Salem Media Group VP Phil Boyce titled, “Talkers,” by clicking here.

TTWN Expands Relationship with The JOY FM. The Total Traffic and Weather Network announces an expanded newswire content partnership with The JOY FM. Under the agreement, TTWN will provide news, sports, show-prep and audio content via its 24/7 News Source wire service to The JOY FM’s 14 radio stations across Georgia, Florida and Alabama. TTWN says that with a completely redesigned all-in-one broadcast interface, 24/7 News Source provides its affiliate partners with market-customized text and audio news, weather, sports, and entertainment updates, including format-specific content and show-prep, plus the ability to instantly click-n-share stories via social media. TTWN SVP of affiliate sales Jack Dunkle says, “TTWN delivers custom solutions for all formats to meet our affiliate partners’ needs, including more than 200 Christian Radio affiliates.  We’re excited to expand our partnership with The JOY FM to provide more of their stations with trusted, premium newsroom content.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Nexstar Media Group’s WGN-AM is hiring Hollywood entertainment reporter Sam Rubin to contribute show biz reports to Steve Bertrand’s afternoon drive program on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Rubin is based at Nexstar’s KTLA-TV, Los Angeles and he also contributes to the NewsNation cable channel. WGN-AM vice president and general manager Mary Sandberg Boyle tells staffers, “These added resources help WGN report and tell stories that other audio platforms can’t deliver.”…..Compass Media Networks unveils the lineup of NFL games that it will make available to radio stations this season. The season starts on September 9 with the Dallas Cowboys at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Compass Media Networks says the schedule will feature a double-header every Sunday for all 18 weeks of the regular season along with full coverage of the Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders…..3G Broadcasting’s WADK-AM, Newport, Rhode Island adds a translator to its broadcast at 101.1 FM. Station owner Bonnie Gomes says WADK can now operate 24 hours and they’ll be rounding out the program schedule soon. “We’ll make the announcement as our programming increases, but we’re still going to be the source for wide, local news, and a resource to the community. That’s who we are, we’re not going to change.”…..The Undefeated columnist, commentator and host Clinton Yates is leading a new The Undefeated and ESPN podcast, “Black History Always,” produced by Roj Grobes, beginning July 28. Yates says, “With ‘Black History Always,’ we’re looking to remind people that who we are as a culture is a living, breathing entity in all parts of American society. It’s not just history books and social media. The humans who make up the fabric and backbone of this country aren’t all superstars or slaves. We contain multitudes and everyone deserves to be heard. So, tune in.”…..RAB announces that the deadline for entries for the 2021 Radio Mercury Awards has been extended to August 23. For more information and to register, click here.

Jiggy Jaguar Interviews Stars at Exxxotica Conference. Pictured above is Transmedia World Wide talk host James “Jiggy Jaguar” Lowe (center) at last weekend’s Exxxotica conference in Chicago interviewing two adult film stars for his radio program.

COVID-19/Paul-Fauci Battle, Infrastructure Bill, Critical Race Theory, Trump Books/Trump and the GOP, Bezos Space Flight/Philanthropic Awards, Western Drought and Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/20). The rising rate of COVID-19 cases in all 50 U.S. states, vaccine hesitancy, and the Senate floor accusations between Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Tony Fauci; the status of Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill and Republicans’ plans to kill debate and negotiate a new bill; the ongoing backlash against teaching critical race theory in schools; the various books detailing the final year of the Trump administration and Donald Trump’s relationship with the GOP; Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ space flight and his awarding $100 million to CNN’s Van Jones and chef Jose Andres; and the drought and wildfires plaguing the U.S. West were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.